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Suspect in Colorado bomb case makes first court appearance

From Jim Spellman, CNN
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Arrest in Colorado mall bomb attempt
  • NEW: Earl Albert Moore makes his first court appearance
  • NEW: Moore is charged with a single count of violating federal arson laws
  • He is suspected of planting a bomb at a grocery store

Denver (CNN) -- The suspect in the April 20 attempted bombing of a mall in Littleton, Colorado, made his first court appearance Wedesday, saying little in a Denver courtroom except to confirm that he wanted a court-appointed attorney.

Earl Albert Moore wore an orange prison suit and looked much like photos distributed by law enforcement agencies during a nationwide search for him. He was handcuffed and shackled but he had shaved the moustache seen in his photos, and the 65-year-old looked healthy and fit.

When presented the option of a court-appointed attorney, Moore, in a gruff voice, said, "Yes, I'd like the court-appointed."

The U.S. attorney's office in Denver charged Moore with a single count of violating federal arson laws.

The attempted bombing occurred on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre. The mall is near Columbine high school and concerns were raised that the attempted bombing was connected to Columbine.

At a press conference Monday, Jefferson County Colorado Sheriff Ted Mink ruled out a connection between the two events.

"This incident had no bearing on any of the schools in the Littleton school district," Mink told reporters. "There was absolutely no connection."

Moore was captured Monday morning when a shopper at a Boulder grocery store recognized him from photos released by the FBI.

According to court documents, Moore was linked to the explosive device left in a service corridor of Southwest Plaza Mall by DNA recovered from the pipe bomb.

Just seven days before the incident, Moore was released from federal prison in South Carolina. He was serving a sentence for a 2005 bank robbery in West Virginia.

As the hearing ended Wednesday, Moore's court-appointed attorney told the judge that shortly before being released from prison Moore had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and hepatitis C, and and the attorney asked that Moore be treated for these diseases while in jail.

A grand jury has been formed and is expected to present new charges on May 5. Those charges would likely supersede the current arson charge.

Moore is expected back in court May 6.

CNN's Jim Spellman contributed to this report.